10 shows on LI stages that you don’t want to miss

10 shows on LI stages that you don’t want to miss

FUN HOME (Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Sept. 8 to Oct. 20) The Long Island premiere of the award-winning musical, set in a funeral home, is adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir tracing her sexuality and her troubled relationship with her father. As the grown Alison narrates a series of vignettes, we meet her younger selves (small Alison and medium Alison) in their formative years as they try to make sense of the family dynamics. With music by Jeanine Tesori (“Shrek,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), the play won three Tony Awards including best musical and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. OvationTix 866-811-4111,  smithtownpac.org

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER  (Argyle Theatre, 34 W. Main St., Babylon; Sept. 13 to Oct. 21)  A versatile ensemble of 12 actors performs some 18 roles (sailors, pirates, mermaids and the like) to tell the back story of Peter Pan in this musical based on a children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It’s storytelling at its best, with Peter starting out as an orphan who gets kidnapped with a couple of his pals. The show won five Tony Awards, including best featured actor for Christian Borle,  who played Black Stache, the pirate who would become Captain Hook. 844-631-5483,  argyletheatre.com

MAN OF LA MANCHA (John W. Engeman Theater,  250 Main St., Northport, Sept. 13 to Oct. 28) One of the most popular musicals of all time is this story of one man’s quest — or should we say “Impossible Dream” — to restore chivalry and civility to a world he believes has gone crazy. Inspired by the Cervantes masterpiece “Don Quixote,” the show won five Tonys including best musical. Box office 631-261-2900,  engemantheater.com

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 (Studio Theatre,  141 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, Sept. 7 to 23) The Long Island premiere of the Lucas Hnath  play takes place 15 years after Nora slammed that door in the Ibsen original. 631-226-8400,  studiotheatreli.com

BOEING, BOEING (Merrick Theatre,  2222 Hewlett Ave., Sept. 8 to 30) A faster jet spells trouble for a Paris bachelor who’s engaged to three different — and oblivious — flight attendants; although since this play is set in the 1960s, they’re called stewardesses. 516-868-6400,  merrick-theatre.com

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Bayway Arts Center, 265 E. Main St., East Islip, Sept. 8 to 23; Broadhollow at Elmont, 700 Hempstead Tpke., Sept. 29 to Nov. 11) Audiences will have to force themselves to not sing along with the Bee Gees hit “Stayin’ Alive” in this musical, the story of disco king Tony Manero. 631-581-2700, 516-775-4420,  broadhollow.org

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson, Sept. 15 to Oct. 27) All those kooky characters — Gomez, Morticia, Lurch, Uncle Fester — in an offbeat take on “Romeo and Juliet” involving Wednesday and her “normal” boyfriend. 631-928-9100,  theatrethree.com

BURIED CHILD (Eastline Theatre, 2123 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, Oct. 6 to 24) The American dream disintegrates in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that focuses on the breakdown of the traditional nuclear family. 516-749-5047,  eastlineproductions.com

A COMEDY OF TENORS (Hampton Theatre Company, 125 Jessup Ave., Quogue, Oct. 25 to Nov. 11) This sequel of sorts to Ken Ludwig’s popular farce “Lend Me a Tenor” features four tenors, along with assorted wives and girlfriends. Many of the same characters are seen two years later. 631-653-8955,  hamptontheatre.org

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Gateway at the Patchogue Theatre, 71 E. Main St., Dec. 14 to 30). The tale as old as time unfolds for the holidays, with characters we love almost as much the Sugarplum Fairy — the cursed prince, the book-loving Belle and all those enchanted objects. 631-286-1133,  thegateway.org


Page to Stage Festival 2018: A Complete Listing of Shows

Page to Stage Festival 2018: A Complete Listing of Shows

The Kennedy Center’s 17th annual Page to Stage Festival offers theatergoers the chance to view and give feedback on works of theater. The free performances feature work by over 60 local and regional theater companies.

Performances run from Saturday, September 1st through Monday, September 3rd. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of each performance. Seating is limited and subject to availability.

For the final show schedule, please visit the festival website.

African-American Collective Theater (ACT): UNPROTECTED sex, written and directed by Alan Sharpe  
African-American Collective Theater (ACT) continues its exploration of the realities and repercussions of contemporary LGBTQ life in the Black community with an edgy collection of short plays reflecting the serious, sexy, and sometimes silly challenges encountered while navigating the path through self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-affirmation that leads to an authentic life. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Alliance for New Music-Theatre: Women of Troy: Voices from Afghanistan, written and directed by Susan Galbraith
Alliance for New Music-Theatre ventures on its most ambitious cross-cultural work to date in a music-rich retelling of Euripides’ famous anti-war play, Trojan Women, set in modern-day Afghanistan. Women of Troy: Voices from Afghanistan responds to the conflict that entangles America in its longest war to date. The work tells the story of the resilience of Afghan women and, through their creative expressions, provides a more uplifting side of the country’s history. The drama also includes the voices of American female veterans who served in the region. In its final form it will showcase the cooperative efforts of two playwright-poets, two composers, and 12 international performers. Musical. Recommended for general audiences.

Ally Theatre Company: The Head That Wears The Crown by Hope Villanueva, directed by Megan Behm  
Three highschoolers are the queens of their school until Danielle arrives. When she catches the eye of one of their exes just before the Winter formal, they decide to keep their friend close and their enemy closer, manipulating her emails, social media, and relationships. When their mean-spirited plan for revenge goes far out of control, the repercussions of their choices will follow all of them for the rest of their lives. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Arcturus Theater Company: Goya’s Los Caprichos by Arcturus Theater Company, directed by Ross Heath
Arcturus Theater Company’s original interpretation of the set of prints collectively known as Los Caprichos, Francisco Goya’s commentary on societal ills and oddities in Spain (1798-1799). Set to new music by Armando Bayolo using referential techniques Goya himself used and performed by the Great Noise Ensemble. This is a work in progress. New music with pantomime. Recommended for general audiences.

Arts on the Horizon: Sailing on String by Becca Drew Ramsey, directed by Kate Debelack.
Take an active role in shaping Arts on the Horizon’s newest show, Sailing on String! In what we are calling a PLAY-shop, families will participate in a series of interactive activities designed to explore how children ages 0-2 engage with various objects, images, and multi-sensory elements related to the play’s themes. Participatory. Family friendly.

ArtStream Inc: The Miraculous Tales of Stonehaven, written and directed by Madeleine Barry
Giants, trolls, dragons, and a kingdom in peril! Can three regular kids save the day? The opening scene of The Miraculous Tales of Stonehaven introduces us to Julian, Emily, and Timothy as they let their imaginations take them to a magical world. Fairy Tale. Family friendly.

Baltimore Playwrights Festival: Small House, No Secrets by Jody Nusholtz and Sonia Rutstein, directed by Michael Stricker and Sharon Weaver; Consent by Glynnece Lynn, directed by Andre Tittle; and Unlucky Soldier by Robert Garcia, directed by Barry Feinstein.
Small House, No Secrets by Jody Nusholtz and Sonia Rutstein: When Liz arrives at her cousin’s house on Thanksgiving, secrets are served instead of dinner in this coming out musical. Musical. Recommended for general audiences.

Consent by Glynnece Lynn: In a near yet very changed future, where civilians volunteer to undergo traumatic medical testing in exchange for favors from the government, two doctors find themselves on lockdown with their belligerent patient, and are forced to confront the very nature of their work: Does the given consent absolve them of the horrors of their work? Is informed consent still consent if all you’ve done is make it impossible to say no? Drama. Recommended for general audiences.

Unlucky Soldier by Robert Garcia: Andre Regal is returning home from his combat tour in Vietnam. Unbeknownst to him, he is coming home with an uninvited guest for a final role of the dice. Don’t miss this semi autobiographical play of one soldier’s battle for sanity and survival. Comedy. Recommended for general audiences.

Best Medicine Rep: Die, Mr. Darcy, Die!, written and directed by John Morogiello
A wild comedy about a woman who gives up on men because they can never live up to the hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, especially his embodiment by Colin Firth.Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Brave Soul Collective: Life Lines by Monte J. Wolfe, Alan Sharpe, Josette Marina Murray, Anthony Green, and Jared Shamberger, directed by Alan Sharpe and Monte J. Wolfe
A collection of theatrical works written, performed, and directed by black LGBTQ artists which examine the notion of visibility and highlight the importance of human connections.Drama/Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Bridge Club: Glimmer/Jellyfish Summer by Darcy Parker Bruce and Natalie Ann Valentine
Glimmer/Jellyfish Summer is a reading of two plays that wonder what, who, and where home is. Do we bring it with us or is it in someone else? What happens when they leave? In both Paradise, Florida, and Sound, Maryland, we find young, queer, heart-wanderers who have built hope on the foundation of a better yesterday and whatever magic there is beneath the water. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Cage Free Voices Theatre: From Divorce to Restoration by Bathsheba Smithen (with contributions from Guests Performers Talaya Simpson and Shannon Webster), directed by Kristina Buck, co-produced and stage managed by Michelle Talkington
From Divorce to Restoration is a story of love, pain, healing, and empowerment which will have viewers on an emotional rollercoaster while opening up a much-needed dialogue regarding how to bounce back from the emotional, mental, and physical damage resulting from a dramatic loss. While the story centers around examples of divorce, it is a must-see for anyone who has been hurt as a result of any form of broken relationship. Drama, Variety. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Catholic University: The Unraveling by Elena Hartwell, directed by Matt Ripa
A Shakespearean scholar who loathes speaking in public is roped into substitute teaching a college literature class. Her lecture on the beauty of Shakespeare’s language unravels into an outpouring of grief over her wounded daughter’s return from Afghanistan. How do we reunite with our country’s veterans? How do we connect with those who have come home irreparably damaged from the longest war in American history? A brief talkback will follow. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

City Kids Theater: A Fairy Tale Day in Court by Ray and Nan Ficca, directed by Ray Ficca
The Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Three Little Pigs have their day in court to get to the bottom of about the goings on in Fairy Tale Land, and boy do they have some stories to tell! Family friendly.

Crash of Rhinos: Lamoni the King, adapted and directed by Matthew McGee
In ancient South America, a heartless king of a fierce and violent people finds himself converted to the peaceful faith of his enemies when a stranger arrives in his land. While many of his people follow in his footsteps, others do not and a division forms among his nation. As anger stirs against him, Lamoni the King and his followers make a vow to never use their weapons for war again, seek refuge at the hands of their former enemies, and witness many years of wars fought on their behalf. When the wars finally catch up to the younger generation of his people, Lamoni questions his leadership, his legacy, and his faith.  Drama, Epic. Recommended for general audiences.

DayDreamers International: A New Heart, written and directed by Pooja Chawla
Meghna believes her heart is broken and is in desperate need of a new one. She is full of hope when she comes across a small clinic in town that claims to restore hearts to brand new. Little does she know there are several others in the clinic’s waiting room seeking the very same thing from Dr. Free’s unconventional methods of healing. What ensues is a journey into the many facets of the human heart to see what makes it tick as well as triumph. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue: Saints by Debra Buonaccorsi and Steve McWilliams, directed by Rick Hammerly
Imagine Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, St. Augustine, and a bevy of virgin martyrs singing songs around a celestial campfire. Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue presents Saints: virtue and vaudeville, burlesque and the blessed, where the revival tent meets the carnie tent. An unconventional look at belief, faith, religion, and the unexplained through the eyes of Catholic saints. What happens when you open the door to accepting the possibilities while leaving cynicism behind? When you open the door to belief, how do you decide when to close it? Musical, Drama, Comedy, Participatory. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Faction of Fools: The Great Commedia Hotel Murder Mystery Workshop: The First Clues, written and directed by Paul Reisman
Zanni bellhops, femme fatales, hidden clues, mustachioed detectives, and more! In the grand tradition of Agatha Christie, Clue, Sherlock Holmes, and other classics, this hilarious new whodunnit will keep you guessing until the very end! Faction of Fools Theatre Company will end their 10th Anniversary Season with this world premiere production in April 2019. Don’t miss your chance to start sleuthing early with a sneak peek at this classic in the making! Family, Comedy, Commedia dell’Arte/Devised. Recommended for general audiences.

Federal Theatre Project: Glass Bottles by Jennifer Dane Clements, directed by Kevin Finkelstein  
A homegrown play by a nationally recognized playwright, Glass Bottles focuses on civic engagement and activism through the lens of the Anacostia River and Watershed. We all have our own stories, and Glass Bottles attempts to help us see not only the stories of others, but how each of our own stories intertwine and explain the world in which we live. We are anticipating using P2S as a vehicle to read the script and solicit audience feedback. This will be a staged reading, not a costumed performance. Drama. Recommended for general audiences.

First Draft at The Rose Theatre Company: Balls Out by Chris Stezin, directed by Richard C. Washer  
Darla Marini is supporting three worthless ex-husbands, so she’ll do whatever it takes to hang on to her job as a Division I softball coach. Jeremy DeBodean has just been cut from the baseball team and, due to a natural disaster back home, has nowhere else to go. He’ll do whatever he can to stay at Southwest Iowa State Tech. Together they hit on an entirely deceitful, thoroughly reprehensible, and quintessentially modern solution to their problems. Comedy, Sports Fantasy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

FRESHH Inc: Afromemory by Teshonne Powell, directed by Goldie Patrick; Elijaheen Becomes Wind by Nina Angela Mercer, directed by Ayesis Clay; and Sculpting Clay or How I Inherited 210 Kids, written and directed by Ayesis Clay
Afromemory by Teshonne Powell: In 2153, the United States claims to have dismantled the construct of race, but brown-skinned Sarah B. still feels that a piece of her is missing. In order to regain some semblance of cultural identity, Sarah undergoes an outlawed and risky procedure that allows her to access the memories of her ancestors, and having done so, knows she can no longer go back to the life she had before. Now, she must find her way in a world that shuns cultural identity, but how long can she resist and how long can she survive? Drama. Recommended for general audiences.

Elijaheen Becomes Wind by Nina Angela Mercer: It is 2018 in Washington, D.C. Elijaheen is 17, and the people confront a government built on a dogmatic culture of fear. 200 years later, D.C. has become Desire, a floating city in a new world preparing to face the intergalactic Takers. Elijaheen has gifts of sight and time travel, and she finds herself faced with the challenge of being both 17 years old in 2018 and 217 years old in Desire. She births Black Cormorant, Indigo, and Wolfe Eye, shape-shifting spirits manifested from her mind’s eye in 2018, and projects them into the future for a mission stepped in an urgent desire to survive the inevitable. The Takers are coming—again. Drama, Choreopoem. Recommended for general audiences.

Sculpting Clay or How I Inherited 210 Kids by Ayesis Clay: A young out-of-work actress turns to the last place she ever thought she’d find herself—at the head of the classroom. Through chaos, tragedy, and humor, she is forced to find her true passion while juggling family, Shakespeare, and the dreaded hell week. Drama. Recommended general audiences.

GALA presents: Paso Nuevo Youth Performance Group: A Butterfly’s Eyes by Paso Nuevo Participants, directed by Mauricio Pita
A teenager from El Salvador recounts her journey crossing borders to reach the United States. With each step, she encounters issues relating to love, racism, coming out, bullying, self-esteem, immigration, and how to find solidarity and comradery in a dangerous world. A Butterfly’s Eyes is a series of short scenes and monologues that reflect the scope of the teenage experience. The show is the culmination of a three-month process that brought together ethnically diverse youth from throughout the D.C. area to explore self-expression through theater. Drama, Family, Comedy, Adventure. Recommended for general audiences.

Georgetown University: Unfinished Album of Lazarus Lovesong by K.J. Moran, directed by Maya E. Roth  
In a college apartment somewhere between delusions and punk rock, Louise is a student still reeling from her sexual assault a year ago. When she meets a new beau, Lou must face her anxieties head on and figure out how to be intimate without reliving the trauma of her past. A tribute to punk, Sylvia Plath, and the songs and friends that get us through our darkest moments, Unfinished Album of Lazarus Lovesong is the soundtrack of Lou’s resurrection and an ode to survivors everywhere. Drama, Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

GildaPapoose Collective: There Is A Field by Jenn Marlowe, directed by Je Naè Taylor
There Is A Field tells the story of a 17-year old Palestinian boy and friend of Jenn’s, Aseel Asleh, who was killed by Israeli police. Through Nardeen’s struggle to cope with the murder of her brother, the play offers an intimate view into the racism and violence faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, and contributes to the vital conversation of the systematic devaluation of Black and Brown lives in the United States. With the political convictions of the play, we’ll highlight social justice campaigns in D.C. and put an end to the injustices the play exposes. Participatory. Recommended or ages 13 and up.

Guillotine Theatre: Deadlie Affairs: Arden of Faversham, written and directed by Catherine Aselford and Cate Brewer
You study to be a classical actor and the best gigs you get are on True Crime TV shows. A pair of women stuck in cable TV reenactment gigs believe in their dreams, but can’t seem to get away from sex and murder. Deadlie Affairs: Arden of Faversham combines scenes from the original play with devised work by a bunch of oddball D.C. actors. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

JBE Productions: Abomination by Nicole Cox, directed by TBD  
A small group of queer yeshiva graduates take to the courts to end an organization of their abusers. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences: Kid Prince and Pablo by Brian and Marvin Quijada, directed by Pironne Yousefzadeh; and She a Gem by Josh Wilder, directed by Paige Hernendez
Kid Prince and Pablo by Brian and Marvin Quijada: Based on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, Kid Prince and Pablo reimagines the classic tale of mistaken identity with a digital, Hip Hop infused twist to examine race, class, the wealth divide, and what it means to walk in someone else’s shoes. Musical, Family, Comedy, Hip Hop. Family friendly.

She A Gem by Josh Wilder: Krystin, Jaleesa, and Amber form a double-dutch team in inner-city Philadelphia to compete in their neighborhood pageant. If they win, they’ll receive a special prize: their futures told by Ms. Mary, the local psychic. Will they become a famous singer? A hairdresser? Or maybe a gem, a special leader who cares for the neighborhood? Then they meet a pregnant teen from North Pilly who can jump double-dutch better than any of them. Just as the girls anticipate learning about their futures, they’ll learn something important about her past that affects them all. Dramedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Liberated Muse Arts Group: BuildingBeautiful by Khadijah Ali-Coleman, directed by Khadijah Ali-Coleman and Khari Dawson
The shooting death of a college student home for Thanksgiving shatters the boundaries separating the lives of five strangers. In the aftermath, at a town hall meeting-turned-press conference, anger, fear and extraordinary courage take center stage as the grieving and the accused fight to be heard. Musical, Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Monumental Theatre Company: Montgomery by Britt Bonney, directed by TBD
In 1955, two women were arrested on Montgomery buses for violating segregation law. One went on to be called the Mother of the Civil Rights movement, her name taught to every American schoolchild. The other works as a nurse’s aid in the Bronx. With its blues and rock score, Montgomery puts you on the ground at the birth of the civil rights movement. When 15-year-old Claudette Colvin is arrested, Montgomery’s civil rights leaders are breaking down her door, intent on using her case as the catalyst for a city-wide bus boycott. But is Claudette too young, poor, and dark-skinned to unite the community in protest? When the mild-mannered, light-skinned Rosa Parks is arrested, the boycott is on, and Claudette all but forgotten—until a new court case gives her one more chance to make history. Musical. Family friendly.

Monumental Theatre Company, whose mission is to create theater for and by Millennials, received the 2018 Helen Hayes Award win for Outstanding Emerging Theater Company.

Mosaic Theater Company: The Alchemist of Jerusalem by Bill Martin, directed by TBA
The Alchemist of Jerusalem takes place in Old Jerusalem and a West Bank town during the last week of September 2000, the week leading to the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and explores the growing tension and conflict from multiple international perspectives. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

National Conservancy of Dramatic Arts/Crash of Rhinos: Magic, Misfits & Mirrors by Teddy and Vita Zambetti, directed by Ray Ficca
Magic, Misfits & Mirrors is an original story following the ups and downs of an eclectic group of social misfits whose common thread is a quaint urban café and its proprietor Katy. The group’s dreams, losses, and love stories weave through the musical’s narration to paint a stunningly raw and emotional portrait of a true community that heeds the call to bond together through love and magic when tragedy strikes. Musical. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Nu Sass Productions: Nu Works
We would like to present at least one act in development, and then either a group of scenes, or another one act. We have not yet determined what the scripts or directors will be. Drama, Comedy, Variety. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

One Off Productions: Fran and Leni by Sadie Hasler, directed by Stevie Zimmerman
I was the punk. I was born punk. But she was my rock. The only one I ever had.1976. Fran and Leni meet in a North London comp. Three years later they are The Rips. Girls with guitars, bored of playing nice. Music, sex, fishnets, tits, and spitting. A two-girl escape from everything sugar and spice. Fran and Leni is punchy two-hander about punk rock and lifelong friendship from the writer of the critically acclaimed Pramkicker. Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Openstage: Ode To Cuffing Season, written and directed by Harvey Fitz; What Are The Odds by Madeline Farrington, directed by Emily Canavan; and TBD
Ode to Cuffing Season by Harvey Fitz: Cuffing season is that period between fall and winter when avid singletons start looking for someone they can spend those long, frigid months with. This activity is fueled by a desire for physical companionship that stems from elevated levels of codependency and emotional insecurity. Ode To Cuffing Season navigates the nuances of five very different individuals whose questionable yet very relatable actions will have the audience feeling as though they are watching replays of their lives. The dialogue is written entirely in free verse poetry and includes musical elements as accompaniment. Each of the five characters have been conceptualized as non-gender specific roles to give better insight on the good, the bad, and the inconvenient truths associated with casually bumping uglies. They say all is fair in love and war, even the cold ones. Musical, Drama, Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

What are the Odds by Madeline Farrington: Some days are better than others, and today is—well, sort of, mostly—Clara’s lucky day! If she can just avoid getting arrested for peeing in the park and getting dragged down by the liberal industrial complex, she’s gonna cure what ails ya! The sky’s the limit if she manages to get out of bed. Maybe even if she doesn’t.Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Pipeline Playwrights: The Wish by Crystal Adaway, directed by Jordan Friend
Barbara has wished for the same impossible thing for 12 long, bitter years. For her 50th birthday, her plucky daughter, Bonnie, concocts an elaborate scheme to make that wish finally come true. Will her combative sister, Lyla, bring it all crashing down? This dark drama/comedy explores the twists and turns of family dynamics and the consequences that may result. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Playwrights Collaborative: Collaborative Shorts, written and directed by Members of Playwrights Collaborative
Short plays, sustainably sourced by local playwrights. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Playwrights Group of Baltimore: The Twenty Dollar Bill Plays, written and directed by members of the Playwrights Group of Baltimore
The twenty dollar bill was supposed to get a facelift in 2018, with the replacement of Andrew Jackson by Harriet Tubman. While that change appears to have been moved to the back burner, the Playwrights Group of Baltimore got a jump start on writing ten-minute plays to celebrate the switch. Changing currency or not, we’ve got a set of comedies and dramas, each with a crucial $20 bill to make you think, laugh, and ponder. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Rorschach Theatre: Season Fragments: Selections From Three New Plays
Rorschach Theatre presents staged readings of 20-minute sections from the three world-premiere plays being presented in their 2018/2019 season: Sing to Me Now by Iris Dauterman, directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick; Reykjavich by Steve Yockey, directed by Randy Baker; and Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven by Reina Hardy, directed by Jonelle Walker. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Safe Streets Arts Foundation From Prison to the Stage: Music Art and Writing from Prisons Across America by Roach Brown and other prisoners and ex-prisoners, directed by Michael Brown
From Prison to the Stage is a Multimedia Show featuring music, art, and writing from prisons across America. Every member of the audience will receive a piece of original art created by an imprisoned artist. Musical, Drama, Comedy, Multimedia. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Scena Theatre: Home Sweet Home—from Basra to Kabul by Andreas Garfield, directed by Robert McNamara
Home Sweet Home is a hard-hitting drama from Denmark that shows the trials and tribulations of a Danish soldier returning from the Iraq war as he struggles to readjust to normal life. Originally produced at the Grob Teater, Copenhagen. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Scena Theatre has a proven knack for importing important theater work from abroad by playwrights as yet unknown on these shores—and in the process dramatically expanding American theatergoing sensibilities.

Selah City Urban Theatre: Dancing on the Air, written and directed by Jiiko Ozimba
The Great Migration deposited thousands of African Americans into Washington, D.C., creating a thriving middle class consisting of government workers, business owners, scholars, domestics, and artists. Dancing on the Air explores the cultural dynamic within the relatively privileged black community in the District during the 1960s, being both segregated and stratified by skin color and socioeconomic status. The legacy of the Teenarama Dance Party is manifold. It speaks of milestones in the history of African Americans, the broadcast industry, Washington, D.C., and American music, while sharing lessons on community, Civil Rights, war, and the persistence and vibrancy of youth. Musical. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Seventh Street Playhouse: The Springfield Boys, written and directed by Anthony E. Gallo
This two-act dramedy traces the relationships between Abraham Lincoln, his closest friend Joshua Fry Speed, and law partner William H. (Billy) Herndon from 1837 to 1891. Both Herndon and Speed were to play important roles in the legacy of the 16th President. How did the pro-slavery Speed, who shared a bed with Lincoln for four years, help to preserve the Union? Why did Lincoln choose this man as his only complete friend ever? No one showed greater political allegiance to Lincoln than Billy, one of only two eyewitness biographers of the tragic President. Billy’s innumerable eye-popping but questionable assertions about Lincoln and his family have influenced thousands of Lincoln biographers. But was Lincoln really a free-thinking agnostic? Was he illegitimate? Other claims are even more shocking. Did Herndon forever malign Mary Lincoln because of their mutual hatred? Drama. Recommended for general audiences.

Seventh Street Playhouse and Collington Players: Charleston Revisited by Anthony E. Gallo, directed by Grant Bagley
This two-act mystery-comedy takes place in the heart of the renowned Charleston Historic district. Charlotte Butler raises flowers to the hum of classical music, cultivates birds, plays championship bridge, ballroom dances daily, sometimes cleans her own house, and spars with both her parrot Jacob and her flighty neighbor Ginny (Gin) Middleton. Gin’s latest flame is the distinguished former New Hampshire Senator Mark Smythe who appears to have a curious interest in Charlotte. When Gin is out of town, Mark visits Charlotte. He accompanies her to St Philips’ Cemetery at night where they encounter someone she does not want to see. Comedy. Recommended for general audiences.

Showcase on Main: The Unpredictable Times by Kevin Ray, directed by Johnson S. Lee Lewis   
Five friends reunite in their hometown of Champlin, Minnesota, after graduating college. They attempt to deal with unresolved issues from the past and present that will challenge their lifelong friendships. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Signature Theater In The Works: Signature’s New Musicals   
Be among the first to hear new musicals in development come to life when Signature Theatre presents a concert of songs from works by up-and-coming writers Ross Baum, Angelica Cheri, Ben Clark, Michael R. Jackson, Andrew Kramer, Kent Moran, and Darius Smith. Plus, get a sneak peek at John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe’s world premiere musical Blackbeard which will open at Signature in June 2019. Musical. Recommended for general audiences.

Soul-Satisfying Productions: White Russian, written and directed by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
A recently engaged man finds he has more in common with a bartender and a popular mixed drink than he does with his family and friends who attend an impromptu engagement party in his honor in this Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner tale. Who has a right to his headspace when his heart has already made its choice? Presentation followed by a talkback with the writer/director and cast. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Spooky Action Theater: Torgus and Snow by Christine Evans, directed by Kate Bryer.
There’s a strange condition in Sweden. Facing deportation, refugee children become listless. They lie down, they close their eyes, stop talking. They lapse into an endless sleep. For months—or years. Doctors come to care for them, skeptics to sniff out a sham. But in the secret places of their minds, where are they now? Down in the ocean depths precariously encased in glass, soaring, drifting like smoke on the wind. Their bodies immobile while their minds use every ounce of will to survive. Torgus learns to speak to them. Torgus hears their replies. Torgus is a prototype—version one. Can be buggy, but he won’t tell. Because everyone ignores a simple robot. Drama. Magical Realism. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Starting Gate Theatrical: The Count of Monte Cristo by John Tafone and Elena Tafone, directed by Megan Bunn
The year is 1815—Napoleon has been defeated, banished to the island of Elba. When Edmond Dantès, a heroic young sailor, makes an unscheduled stop at Elba, he comes into possession of a letter that will change his life forever. He suddenly finds himself framed by his enemies and condemned to life in prison, where he meets Abbé Faria, a priest who helps him escape. Gaining not only his freedom, but a map to the fabled treasure of Monte Cristo, Dantès seeks revenge under a new name: the Count of Monte Cristo, but he finds himself caught between those two identities—that of Edmond Dantès and that of the Count. What is justice? And can mortal men ever truly achieve it? Musical, Adventure. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Synetic Theater: Sleepy Hollow by Nathan Weinberger, directed by Paata Tsikurishvili
Synetic’s Adaption of the American Tale of Horror. Sleepy Hollow will feature Synetic’s unique style of storytelling, immersing audiences in the small New England town haunted by the Headless Horseman. Adventure, Horror. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Highwood Theatre: Betrayal: The Truth Revealed, written and directed by The Highwood Theatre
The Highwood Theatre presents a selection of scenes, songs, and monologues from their upcoming season—Betrayal: The Truth Revealed. Explore the nuanced performances that make up this new season, featuring Highwood’s talented student and professional actors. Variety. Family friendly.

The Indian Ocean Theatre Company: Custom of the Sea by John Sowalsky, directed by Harley Venton

Bigg and Liddle are stuck in a lifeboat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This all-consuming comedy answers the question: What’s the worst tuna? Comedy. Recommended for general audiences.

The Law Theater Project: Will the Court Drop the F-Word? Cohen v. California by Dr. Samantha M. McDermitt, directed by Prof. Marietta Hedges
Supreme Court drama for non-lawyer general audiences. Have you ever wondered what happens in the Supreme Court’s Conference Room? Cohen v. California is a momentous free speech case from the Vietnam War Era. Hear the Justices talk like ordinary human beings and speak “from their gut philosophies.” Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Welders: The Welders Preview: Exploring New Ways to Create by Hannah Hessel Ratner, Rachel Hynes, and Annalisa Dias, directed by Anna Brenner
A preview of the next three productions from the creators of The Welders playwrights’ collective. First, an interactive workshop on personal storytelling, as part of the creation process of Hannah Hessel Ratner’s In This Hope: A Pericles Project, coming this November. Then, a look at Rachel Hynes’s LadyM, coming spring 2019, in which the three witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth cast a spell in order to understand the wage gap, violence against women, and the power and pain of menstruation. Finally, an exploration around Lucy the Australopithecus as she tells the story of the earth’s history, as part of the development process/ecology of Annalisa Dias’s The Earth, That is Sufficient. Come be a part of the creation. Drama, Comedy, Participatory. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Wheel Theatre Company: The City in the City in the City by Matthew Capodicasa, directed by Jack Read
Tess’s mother dies just before they are supposed to leave for the ancient city-state of Mastavia to retrieve a package left for them by Tess’s estranged father. Unwilling to give up the mission, Tess posts an ad online for a traveling companion with her mother’s exact name, and meets a new Laura, a mysterious woman eager to escape her life. This unlikely duo sets off on a journey to this strange city of doubles, mystifying bureaucracy, ancient graves, and a hidden world neither of them expected to encounter. Drama, Comedy, Adventure. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Theater Alliance: The Blackest Battle by Psalmayene 24, directed by Raymond O. Caldwell   
It’s the Fourth of July in the fictional city of Chief County, New York—a place where so-called Black on Black violence rains down like a fiery storm. In this unique Hip Hop musical, Bliss and Dream, members of warring rap factions, fall in love and wrestle with making sense of their turbulent lives. Musical, Hip-Hop Theatre. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Tonic Theater Company: Lake Effect by Richard Brockman, directed by Kelsey D. Phelps
Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori, and Claire Clairmont lead lives filled with drama and tragedy worthy of a great novel. In Lake Effect, over a particularly stormy weekend in June 1816, during their stay at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva, we see what led to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Polidori’s The Vampyre. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Too Much Damn (TMD) Theater: Ladies, written and directed by Marketa Seliyah Nicholson; Enough—A Musical, written and directed by Amber Waltz; and Airquote Ladylike: A Concert of Women Musical Theater Creators, directed by Dara A. Gold
Ladies by Marketa Seliyah: Two young college roommates come from different walks of life. Shannon is free thinking and questions society’s expectations while Molly is very conservative. The show explores the rules of being a woman and asks the question, who the hell made them? These two roommates must find a way to make their differences work. Drama, Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Enough by Amber Waltz: This modern rock musical tells the story of Iris, our burnt-out protagonist. Iris is guided through the past, present, and future of the feminist movement by her Feminist Godmother, a rebellious apparition determined to inspire Iris to stand up for herself. This comedic, fiery musical examines how feminism has evolved through decades of political and social change. Along the way, we’ll meet historical figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul, explore the nuances of feminism in the modern age, and investigate the future course of women’s rights and feminism in America. Musical. Recommended for general audiences.

Airquote Ladylike: A Concert of Women Musical Theater Creators highlights women musical theater songwriters and composers. Each creator will share songs from musicals they have written, are writing, will write, or is a mini-musical in itself. These musical theater creators are reclaiming the narrative and the word ladylike by showing all they can be through their music and creative storytelling. This musical theater concert will have songs that push past the status quo of a world where women must deal with mansplaining, face standards defined by others, and are limited to roles that water down the depth of women. You’ll hear songs that allow creators and performers alike to be unapologetically themselves. Musical. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Unexpected Stage Company: Tell Me Something Good, written and directed by Audrey Cefaly
A new collection of ache stories written and directed by D.C. playwright Audrey Cefaly (The Gulf, Maytag Virgin, Love is a Blue Tick Hound). Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

University of Maryland—School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies: Hapa by Jenna Gerdsen, directed by Jonelle Walker; Luna by Hana Huie, directed by Jasmine Mitchell; Lost Sons by Niree Turner, directed by Avery Collins; and I’ve Been a Woman by Jordan Ealey, directed by Leticia Ridley
Hapa by Jenna Gerdsen: Hapa weaves Gerdsen’s personal upbringing in Hawaii with the island-state’s imperialist history and tourist economy. The show exposes the years of labor and layers of cultural difference that lie beneath the pleasurable, paradisaical landscape of Hawaii. Solo Performance. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Luna by Hana Huie: What happens when the barriers holding you back from your dreams are also the people closest to you? Luna explores how we construct identity in the midst of obstacles and expectations—in the form of a Chinese-American family. We follow the journey of a recently deceased young woman who tries to use her new perspective on life to make sense of familial expectations and pain, culminating in the frenzy of the Chinese Moon Festival. Drama. Recommended for general audiences.

Lost Sons by Niree Turner: Lost Sons explores the effects of having a father figure in children’s lives. The play shows how mass incarceration in the black community leads to the downfall of black youth, especially males. In this piece, Turner shows how some situations turn out differently with a father figure in the picture. Drama. Adults Only. Explict language/themes.

I’ve Been A Woman by Jordan Ealey: I’ve Been a Woman features two souls that are reincarnated in black women’s bodies during feminist movements of the past, present, and future. As these souls connect with one another across three distinct time periods, they struggle to reconcile the realities of race, gender, and sexuality within societies that seek to deny their humanity. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Unknown Penguin: Miranda: After the Storm, or: What Happens to Savage Little Whores by Amanda Zeitler, directed by Patrick Flynn
This feminist epilogue to Shakespeare’s The Tempest explores what Miranda’s life at court in Naples is like after being raised on a magical, deserted island. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Venus Theatre: Living and Dying with Tricia McCauley, directed by Deborah Randall
After a year and a half of PTSD recovery, Deb has begun to tell this story. Deciding not to allow the tragic loss of Tricia on December 25, 2016 to overshadow the brilliance of her spirit and vibrant life, Deb takes the stage. Tricia helped Deb develop several solo works over the 23 years of their friendship, Deb creates this one for her as an artistic monument to their joined laughter. Solo/Tribute piece. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Voices Unbarred: The Return: A Collaborative & Interactive Exploration of Re-entry, written by The Men of Cohort 31-FCI Petersburg Life Connections program, directed by Lori Pitts, Je Naé Taylor, Elle Sullivan, and Emily Sucher
This play explores issues with our prison system and life after release, as well as potential solutions through real stories, questions, and fears. Written by men currently incarcerated in a federal prison, this play uses interactive techniques as well as poems and scenes to show a full picture of what life is like for these men and what they hope for. Drama, Participatory, Variety. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Washington Improv Theater: iMusical: Apocalypse How? by the iMusical ensemble, directed by Travis Ploeger
It’s the end of the world as we know it, so let’s make it a musical. The audience provides the cause of a world-changing apocalypse, then the players of iMusical improvise a one-act musical exploring the apocalyptic event and the aftermath. Musical, Comedy, Improv. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Washington Stage Guild: Culver City Fever, written and directed by Greg Jones Ellis
Geraldine St. James, former primetime soap diva, hasn’t been able to work since the series ended. Her flashy role turned her into an industry joke. She has one shot to regain her credibility, and the only one who can help is her old frenemy, Jane Farrell. Jane, once a promising actress who left the business to be a wife and mother, wants back in the spotlight. What’s Jane’s price for putting aside Gerry’s old betrayal? A chance for a career back in the biz. Punctuated with flashbacks depicting the two women in younger days, this modern comedy examines the deals and sacrifices we make to stay relevant in a fickle world. Comedy. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Washington Women in Theatre: Barbara Hammond’s Enter the Roar by Karen Berman, directed by Susan Lynskey
Mercy or Murder? A timely piece about modern Ireland. Four witnesses struggle in private, in testimony, and to the press, with what it means to take fate into your own hands. Acclaimed feminist playwright Barbara Hammond paints a gripping portrait of a death—and a life—that probes our ideas of faith and family. Enter the Roar fiercely asks: How do you stand up for what you know to be true when all of the forces around you ask you to compromise? Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

We Happy Few: Frankenstein, adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel, directed by Robert Pike and Bridget Grace Sheaff
In a room of filthy creation, a young man stands alone at the turning point of human history. On the table lies his greatest promise, the product of all his hard work, the summation of his hopes and dreams. As Victor Frankenstein brings his creation to life, he opens a door to destruction and regret. In the newest installment of We Happy Few’s Classics in Action series, we’ll explore Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein using her original text, bypassing the square heads, hunch-backed assistants, and neck electrodes, and instead bring to life the Frankenstein you’ve always wanted to know. Adventure. Recommended for general audiences.

Who What Where Theater Collective: Spills by Ruthie Rado, directed by Rebecca Wahls
Spills is a dynamic theatrical experience in three acts and three styles. It explores the fine line between self-discovery and performative sexuality. A colorful, riotous celebration of hookup culture, Spills is a joyful, raunchy comedy that holds a mirror up to a millennial audience. Comedy. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

Wit’s End Puppets: Malevolent Creatures: Where the Water Goes by Nina Budabin McQuown, directed by Cecilia Cackley
When engineers arrive to drain the wetlands, a community living there turns to a local water spirit for help fighting back. While humans tell conflicting stories about who owns the land and water, the ecosystem itself has a long memory. This piece is one of three stories from Malevolent Creatures, a full-length play that retells traditional British folk tales through a modern lens. Drama. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT): Tunnel Vision by Dan Goldman, directed by Farah Lawal Harris
Sebastian, through a sequence of terrible events, ends up a victim of sex trafficking. In this gritty and emotional play, he struggles to find his way out while protecting a friend even more vulnerable than he is. Drama. Adults Only. Explicit language/themes.

List of Participating Theaters:
African-American Collective Theater (ACT)
Alliance for New Music-Theatre
Ally Theatre Company
Arcturus Theater Company
Arts on the Horizon
ArtStream Inc
Baltimore Playwrights Festival
Best Medicine Rep
Brave Soul Collective
Bridge Club
Cage Free Voices Theatre
Catholic University
City Kids Theater
Collington Players
Crash of Rhinos
DayDreamers International
Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue
Faction of Fools
Federal Theatre Project
First Draft at The Rose Theatre Co.
GALA presents: Paso Nuevo Youth Performance Group
Georgetown University
GildaPapoose Collective
Guillotine Theatre
JBE Productions
Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences
Liberated Muse Arts Group
Monumental Theatre Company
Mosaic Theater Company
National Conservancy of Dramatic Arts
Nu Sass Productions
One Off Productions
Pipeline Playwrights
Playwrights Collaborative
Playwrights Group of Baltimore
Rorschach Theatre
Safe Streets Arts Foundation
Scena Theatre
Selah City Urban Theatre
Seventh Street Playhouse
Showcase on Main
Signature Theater
Soul-Satisfying Productions
Spooky Action Theater
Starting Gate Theatrical
Synetic Theater
The Highwood Theatre
The Indian Ocean Theatre Company
The Law Theater Project
The Welders
The Wheel Theatre Company
Theater Alliance
Tonic Theater Company
Too Much Damn (TMD) Theater
Unexpected Stage Company
University of Maryland—School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Unknown Penguin
Venus Theatre
Voices Unbarred
Washington Improv Theater
Washington Stage Guild
Washington Women in Theatre
We Happy Few
Who What Where Theater Collective
Wit’s End Puppets
Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT)


Bill Reid Exits AEG Four Years After Selling the NorVa and National

Bill Reid Exits AEG Four Years After Selling the NorVa and National

The longtime Virginia Beach promoter and venue developer says he’s ready for his next challenge.

Longtime concert professional Bill Reid, who helped build the Virginia Beach Amphitheater for Cellar Door Concerts and restore and reopen historical venues like the NorVa and the National Theatre, has left AEG about four years after selling his company Rising Tide in 2014.

“When I sold the NorVa and the National, I had a contract and my decision to leave is the local conclusion of that contract,” Reid tells Billboard, describing the split as amicable saying he is leaving on good terms and grateful for the opportunities afforded to him working at AEG. That includes extensive design work for an arena project promoted by several local business leaders to bring concerts to the region, but eventually voted down by the Virginia Beach City Council over finance issues. 

While at AEG, Reid also helped reopen the Classic Amphitheater near the Richmond Raceway (now called the Virginia Credit Union Live) and was part of the team at AEG to oversee the purchase of Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore in 2015. 

“There are a lot of things that I’ve been fortunate to accomplish during my time at AEG and I am really grateful for the opportunity they gave me,” he tells Billboard, adding additional thanks to AEG Facilities president Bob Newman, noting ” AEG is extremely fortunate to have him at the helm.”

Reid says now that his contract is up, he’s looking for his next challenge in the venue space and says he sees plenty of opportunities in the Hampton Roads area and greater Mid-Atlantic region. Reid is consulting on the reopening of Hammerjacks in Baltimore, a $16.5 million, 60,000-square-foot entertainment complex that was once a famed hair metal venue.

“That’s where my passion lies and I love to compete, competing is fun,” says Reid, who launched his company Rising Tide in 1997 after a falling out with Jack Boyle at Cellar Door over a profit-sharing plan for the Virginia Beach amphitheater that Reid had helped develop as the president of Cellar Door.

When SFX bought Cellar Door in 1999 for more than $100 million, a deal that included the amphitheater, Reid says he recognized the best investment one could make in the concert business was real estate and set out to buy and restore the NorVa from a vaudeville theater built in 1917 to a popular 1,500-cap venue that reopened in 2000. Eight years later he reopened the National Theatre in Richmond, Virginia — both the NorVa and the National are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Reid also helped develop some of Virginias’ most famous haunts including the famed Boathouse rock venue in Norfolk, the raucous Abyss nightclub in Virginia Beach and the Union Bank & Trust Pavilion in Portsmouth. Reid tells Billboard his passion remains with building venues.

“I know this market really well and I think there is lots of opportunity still left,” he says, adding he’s been taking meetings and catching up with old colleagues since he left AEG in recent days. “I still have a lot of ideas left and I’m excited about what’s next.”


Bonnie Kate getting new roof this week

Bonnie Kate getting new roof this week

ELIZABETHTON, TN – The restoration of the Bonnie Kate Theatre in Elizabethton is finally off and rolling.

The City of Elizabethton, who owns the theatre, has started putting a new roof on the building. This is the first step in the process of restoring and renovating the nearly 100 year old building.

“The roof is the first step. Of course, you don’t want to make any kind of improvements if you are leaking, which has been an issue for us in this room behind me. Even with buckets on the stage, we’ve had to do that before.  So we are very thankful that the city is providing this through a bond,”, Program Coordinator Marcia Ross said, “Just to be able to have a space that, first of all, doesn’t leak and one that we can start making improvements on will be a really nice step for us to take.”

There are several events coming up in the next few weeks to help raise money to go toward the restoration project. Some of the proceeds from the BBQ, Blues & Brews event on Sept. 15 will go toward the project. Also, there is “A 1940’s Evening of Jazz” featuring music by the Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra, a 17 piece band led by Eddie Dalton on Sept. 22. News Channel 11’s Josh Smith is the host for the evening.
“One of the things that the Sept. 22 fundraiser is going to be going toward is a sprinkler system. So we get the roof, then we add the sprinkler system, and then we can start thinking about some improvements to the room to make it look better,”, Ross said, “As well as our eventual goal, is to have a real theatre, to push out the back, there is 50 feet out behind the building, where we would like to make a stage area that is a modified stage for the Bonnie Kate.”

Also, coming up on Sept. 6, “Catch the Vision” is going on at the theatre with special presentations for the vision for the Bonnie Kate Theatre and City of Elizabathton with renderings for the future of the Bonnie Kate. There will also be discussions with the board on how you can help restore the Bonnie Kate. This event is free and includes popcorn and a beverage.

For more info or to make a donation, go to

The restoration of the Bonnie Kate Theatre in Elizabethton is finally off and rolling.

The City of Elizabethton, who owns the theatre, has started putting a new roof on the building. This is the first step in the process of restoring and renovating the nearly 100 year old building.

“The roof is the first step. Of course, you don’t want to make any kind of imporvements if you are leaking, which has been an issue for us in this room behind me. Even with buckets on the stage, we’ve had to do that before.  So we are very thankful that the city is providing this through a bond,”, Program Coordinator Marcia Ross said, “Just to be able to have a space that, first of all, doesn’t leak and one that we can start making improvements on will be a really nice step for us to take.”

There are several events coming up in the next few weeks to help raise money to go toward the restoration project. Some of the proceeds from the BBQ, Blues & Brews event on Sept. 15 will go toward the project. Also, there is “A 1940s Evening of Jazz” featuring music by the Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra, a 17 piece band led by Eddie Dalton on Sept. 22. News Channel 11’s Josh Smith is the host for the evening.
“One of the things that the Sept. 22 fundraiser is going to be going toward is a sprinkler system. So we get the roof, then we add the sprinkler system, and then we can start thinking about some improvements to the room to make it look better,”, Ross said, “As well as our eventual goal, is to have a real theatre, to push out the back, there is 50 feet out behind the building, where we would like to make a stage area that is a modified stage for the Bonnie Kate.”

Also, coming up on Sept. 6, “Catch the Vision” is going on at the theatre with special presentations for the vision for the Bonnie Kate Theatre and City of Elizabathton with renderings for the future of the Bonnie Kate. There will also be discussions with the board on how you can help restore the Bonnie Kate. This event is free and includes popcorn and a beverage.

For more info or to make a donation, go to bonniekatetheatre.com or email to [email protected]


Grantville residents weigh in on historic preservation projects

Grantville residents weigh in on historic preservation projects

 Grantville residents weigh in on historic preservation projects

Kandice Bell / The Newnan Times-Herald

Grantville’s passenger depot has undergone exterior work, and the city is in the process of hiring a contractor to design the interior of the building.

Grantville residents are raising questions about the qualifications of contractors and whether to proceed with a project in the city’s historic district.

The Grantville City Council held two public hearings during its regular meeting Monday. The first was to solicit residents’ input on whether to hire Lord Aeck Sargent, a full-service architectural and design firm, to restore the city’s freight depot and the Sara O’Kelley Municipal Auditorium.

The second hearing addressed the approval of K.A. Oldham Design Inc. for interior design work at the downtown passenger depot.

City Manager Al Grieshaber said the city will apply for a Fox Theatre Institute grant to complete the auditorium and freight depot work.

Grieshaber said Grantville was fortunate to receive a bid from Lord Aeck Sargent. 

“They are a full-services arc firm with experience in historic renovation,” and a Fox Theatre Institute recommendation, Grieshaber said.

Grieshaber said Grantville must have an architect on board to apply for grants. The city manager said the architect’s mission will be to maintain a structure’s historic integrity while making it functional.

Former council member Selma Coty said she calculated costs at about $123,000 for the project. She asked about the city’s responsibility regarding subcontractors.

“They would prepare construction documents,” Grieshaber said. “If we want them to do contract administration, it’s $20,200. When you have construction documents, you can always bid them out.”

Grieshaber said the city decided to combine the auditorium and freight depot to possibly get reduced costs and that professional help was needed, citing the condition of the freight depot.

Jim Sells, former mayor, said restoring the auditorium could be a financial nightmare because of the condition of the building. Sells said the building has no bathrooms and hopes the city will reconsider if SPLOST funds must be used.

Mayor Doug Jewell said adding restrooms is part of the proposal.

Linda Dean, chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission, said the commission would be taking classes to make sure “all ducks are in a row” to receive the grants. 

As far as the interior design of the passenger depot, Grieshaber said he sent a brochure from K.A. Oldham Design Inc. to the city council and the HPC because they wanted to see some of the company’s work.

Grieshaber recommended the company because of its lowest bid of $3,000.

Two additional proposals were submitted for interior design. One was for $15,000 from Preservation South LLC – which also was the construction manager for the exterior improvements of the depot. The third proposal was from Place Maker Design, which did not give a bid amount.

Coty referred to the bids as “apples and oranges” because of the difference in price.

“Other than elevations and a floor plan, what will they (K.A. Oldham Design Inc.) provide?” Coty said. “We all know what Mr. Campbell can do. He has done a great job with the outside of the building and will know what’s going on with the inside.”

Sandra Luttrell also asked what the company’s hourly fee was if other services were needed and asked if that bid could possibly equal the more expensive bid after paying the hourly rate.

Grieshaber was not aware of the hourly rate. 

Speaking specifically about the passenger depot, Grieshaber said, “We need a functional interior. Although it is a historical building, the interior will need to be a functional design, not just restoration.”

The city is expected to make a decision at its next meeting Sept. 10. 


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